Jay Hernandez, star of the new "Magnum P.I." reboot on CBS, says the new series will stay true to its roots in many ways, but fans won't be seeing the actor in a mustache anytime soon. He told Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers of CBSN, "Tom Selleck brought that to the character — it wasn't written that way. ... I felt like anybody who would come in and try to do the mustache — it was going to be a swing and a mess, because Tom owned it and it was his."
Hernandez said while the show takes many cues from the original series, the new "Magnum P.I." will boast plenty of exciting elements that will separate it from the '80s hit. Hernandez, who plays Thomas Magnum, explained, "Magnum is still a war vet, still an ex-Navy SEAL. He still lives on Robin Masters' Estate and drives a red Ferrari, so there's a lot from the original show that if you're fans of the original show you'll respect and love, but there's some changes. Also Higgins is now played by Perdita Weeks ... which adds a fun dynamic that was not there in the original. There's action, there's a little bit of heart, some comedy — there's kind of a bit of everything."
The new "Magnum P.I." follows Magnum after his return from Afghanistan as he sets up his new life as a private investigator in Hawaii.
Hernandez said that both he and his mother were big fans of the original show, though it seems like his mother is at least as big a fan of Tom Selleck.
"She was beyond happy," he said of the moment his mother learned he would star in "Magnum P.I." "She was so excited and she asked me when she would get to meet Tom Selleck." Hernandez laughed, pointing out that Selleck has nothing to do with the reboot.
Hernandez said that he's also excited to represent the Latino community in a positive light on TV; a recent study found that half of Latino men on television are shown engaging in criminal activity.
"I think it's wonderful and smart and kind of necessary to do something like this and have someone out there putting positive imagery on television," he said. "Even if it's a subconscious absorbing of something different, of some other idea of what it is to be Hispanic or something a little different or other. I'm very excited and happy that people can have that now and I can add to the picture of what people carry around in terms of what they think of or perceive Hispanics to be."
"Magnum P.I." premieres on CBS on Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT and online on CBS All Access.